In a statement released by her daughter....

Comedian Joan Rivers has died, says her daughter Melissa Rivers.

Melissa Rivers issued the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.

"She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son
and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for
the amazing care they provided for my mother.
Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support,
and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard
and appreciated.

"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is
difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing
soon."

Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan last Thursday. The 81-year-old comic and red carpet commentator has maintained a busy career as host of "Fashion Police" on the E! network and co-star of the WEtv reality show, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"
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